ABC Studios in Chicago as seen from the street through glass wall, inspiration for JacobTV's THE NEWS
THE NEWS is a nonfiction video opera in which language, music, and visuals are equally important, a topical form of Gesammtkunstwerk, entirely based on ready-made footage from the international media: “revealing” one-liners from anchor men and women, politicians, scientists, reverends, sportsmen, movie stars, celebrities, and what have you, discussing global warming, the credit crunch, religion, matters of war and peace and trivialities.
THE NEWS is entirely based on the technique of speech melody. The melody of speech from every day life, as developed in the early 80s by Scott Johnson and made famous by Steve Reich is also the leitmotif in many of JacobTV’s works. Ordinary speech has hidden musical qualities and becomes “singing” when you add a musical accompaniment to it.
Language is an important element in THE NEWS: by manipulating the spoken word, one creates new realities, like in poetry. The music is accompanied by rhythmical text animations. By zooming in on the voices and faces of talking heads on television, the opera zooms in on the meaning of words and thoughts and on feelings of today. Nowadays, almost everything on TV, even the most serious news, seems to have become entertainment, manipulated and endlessly repeated with great excitement. What to believe from these “puppet shows”? Luckily, in the midst of all this predictability there are also unexpected moments of great beauty, moments that make television still very interesting, and that is what THE NEWS is about.
Jacob ter Veldhuis a.k.a. JacobTV
The search for authentic emotion is the driving force behind JacobTV’s music. His works based on speech melody are the result of empathetic projection. At the same time, the pieces reflect the absurdity of television-culture, transmitting ordinary people’s most intimate confessions to an audience of millions. But the field of tension between sympathy and revulsion remains purposely unresolved, because JacobTV is capable of reflecting both: the fascination with the connection between rough language and American popmusic styles, as well as the disgust at a merciless emphasizing of impulsive utterances, by minimalistic repetition and musicalization.... Here it becomes clear how near to artists like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons the composer JacobTV actually is. Though inspired in his technique by Steve Reich, he takes completely different directions in substance; he explores the common ground between Andy Warhol’s pop-art and the minimal art of the ‘60’s. In this regard, JacobTV’s music, in which mass-culture is both admired and put in perspective, are like a late form of musical pop-art.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Weiss, Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hannover.
On Saturday 24 March 2012 we organised a tango concert and performance at CLUB DAUPHINE, Amsterdam.
The evening presented a combination of live music (with guest artists), dance performance / demonstration and a tango salon. Just like Dauphine's jazz club evening, the tango evenings started with a nice dinner.
From July 1, 2011 Peter Greenaway & Saskia Boddeke present a grand video installation at Castle Amerongen to celebrate the re-opening of the recently restored castle . Through sophisticated video projections the people will be brought back to the castle for one day in history: 21 June 1680. In 37 minutes the story is brought on 23 different screens throughout the castle.
On 16 September 2010 tango dancer Christiane Palha and (on special invitation) tango dancer Esteban Moreno presented at Castle Amerongen (the Netherlands) a special tribute to tango music and dance, titled: EN LAS SOMBRAS. This special evening was the start of a newly established bimonthly tango tradition at the recently restored castle. Through an innovative combination of music, dance and film this special group of internationally renowned tango artists offer a highly esthetical and involving story, highlighting the passionate essence of the tango. Guided by the captivating music of amongst others Astor Piazzolla the traditional mystery and improvisations of the tango are shown. The live video projections are inspired by the Argentine poem ‘EN LAS SOMBRAS’ (Manuel Meaños, 1936). Dancers Christiane Palha and Esteban Moreno combine in cooperation with grand master Gustavo Beytelmann, Andre Heuvelman, Santiago Cimadevilla, Micha Molthoff and video maker Altin Kaftira their artistic qualities, resulting in an evening of synergy and serendipity. With her beauty, history, nature and style Castle Amerongen with her premises offered the perfect location for this special event.
The EN LAS SOMBRAS special audiovisual performance was a great success, so we decided to bring the performance to other special venues and theatres again. The show will in 2012 be held in Club Dauphine , Amsterdam.
JACOBTV: CITIES CHANGE THE SONGS OF BIRDS 2010 - 2011
A video opera about life on the fringe, based on speech melody from original sound bytes from homeless, drug addicts, pimps, prostitutes & prisoners.
All pieces come with simultaneously projected videos & text graphics, on 2 transparent projection screens: one behind the musicians and one between musicians and audience.
"An unforgettably haunting, stunning, highly dramatic work that archetypally encapsulates urban realities in a powerful, in-your-face, yet compassionately consciousness-raising splendor, if such a modifier can be used for so disturbingly tight, tense, and terse a work. Mesmerizing music, pulsating throughout with rock and jazz elements, pop and rap, R&B and electronica. Music urbanly street-sinister, darkly noir, thrillingly full of men and menace, the saxophones so like the human voice, anguished or exultant. Music sharp and synchronized, on cue with the searing video, the one emphasizing the other, magnifying the riveting, arresting impact of the production. Music composed and performed with the technique and precision, aplomb and mastery that come from conservatory training, classical tradition, and evolved into the myriad breakthrough, modern directions of the twentieth century, its legacy becoming the music of our times, today’s contemporary artistic expression that transcends former, formal musical distinctions. Music as multi-media expression in performance, the new composer’s art." Dianna Ch’an-Moriwaki, San Francisco, CA. USA